Seniority might be subjective, but the road to experience isn't always clear.

Back in the day, hunting down a job was a matter of applying at the right place. You found job postings in newspapers or came by the company itself to drop off a resume “just in case”.

These days, showing up unannounced and pestering workplaces that have never heard of you for a position is not just considered old-fashioned: it can actually get you permanently banned from applying at that company.

Due to the gift of the internet, most companies these days practice application via email or web form. Some go the extra mile and ask you to do entry tests off the bat; some, like ours, just ask that you send in a resume.

On the one hand, this practice opens up the world to potential job-seekers and employers. Find the perfect person for a role, no matter where they live? Sounds like the best idea ever!

On the one hand, this practice opens up the world to potential job-seekers and employers. Find the perfect person for a role, no matter where they live? Sounds like the best idea ever!

On the other hand, this fantastic system also makes it extremely difficult to focus on the job you are best suited for.

kids everywhere

Not everybody has to have your youthful enthusiasm and energy, you know.

Early days: The Internship

For somebody looking for a career in IT, this lack of focus can be fatal. There are so many languages, tools and technologies out there – it should be a good idea to learn a bit about every one of them straight away, right?

Not really.

Early career choices should be a good way to explore different roles and technologies in order to see what fits your personality and work ethic best. However, going too wide in the search for what truly inspires you makes for a very bad practice when it comes to narrowing down your interests and discovering your expertise.

One way to deal with this is to find a relatively focused internship that also lets you branch out and discover some new things throughout your learning curve. For example, our interns at WaySeven are generally given a broad-scope onboarding and a personal mentor that lets them grow at their own pace.

Then, once you have a foot in the door of the IT world, things get really fun.

Growth stage: A Career in Programming

You might have proved to yourself that you’re on the right path, so you just need to keep at it. However, the world is filled with applicants with just a bit of experience, and convincing an employer that you’re the one that they need to take a chance on can be a struggle. What can you do?

feeling overwhelmed

No need to get overwhelmed over a simple matter of showing off your skills.

One thing most IT companies will love to see is examples of your previous work. We’re not asking for complex projects – it’s enough to have a couple of representative showcases on your GIT, something that shows our tech team what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Another way to strengthen your position is recommendations. LinkedIn and similar platforms have made it very easy (as well as transparent) to recommend your peers, employees and employers. They are important in different ways, as they are one of the building blocks used to create an overview of your character without having to come in for an interview. They are also useful on a more personal level.

First of all, honest recommendations from either a peer or a higher or lower-level employee can be an invaluable source of feedback. You might think of yourself as a quiet go-getter, but find out that most consider you standoffish.

Secondly, recommendations show potential employers which of your qualities were focused on in your previous job. Lots of talk on communications skills? Chances are your previous position helped you hone those, and your input on the subject could be very useful to your new colleagues.

Lastly, recommending somebody through a referral system has double benefits. Most companies (including ours!) have referral rewards, which means that besides getting somebody right for the role hired, you also get some perks in the bundle.

Final notes

IT is not an easy field to thrive in. There is more and more to learn every day, and the progress of the technologies and tools used is almost impossible to keep up with. However, those that do manage to push through and find a company that supports their growth can be sure to make an impact on the future.

And isn’t that fantastic?

  • career
  • hiring
  • software development
Author Maja Jovicic

Maja Jovicic
PR @ WaySeven Technologies
on March 18, 2021